LAS VEGAS – The 2013 Preseason All-Mountain West Football Team was announced today at the league’s annual Media Days, being held at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The team, as selected by members of the media, features 13 student-athletes who were All-MW selections in 2012, including seven first-team honorees. The 25-member squad is comprised of 14 seniors, eight juniors and three sophomores.
Fresno State senior quarterback Derek Carr was named Preseason MW Offensive Player of the Year, while Fresno State junior defensive back Derron Smith was selected Preseason MW Defensive Player of the Year. New Mexico junior return specialist Chase Clayton was tabbed Preseason MW Special Teams Player of the Year.
Carr, the 2012 MW Offensive Player of the Year, threw for a Conference-record 4,104 yards to rank eighth in the nation a year ago. He tossed 37 touchdowns on the season (tying for third nationally), against just seven interceptions. The Bakersfield, Calif., product completed a league-record 344 passes on 511 attempts for a 67.3 completion percentage. Carr had three games of more than 400 yards passing, which set a new MW standard. With his 3,544 passing yards in 2011, Carr joined Trent Dilfer (1992-93) as the only Bulldog quarterbacks to pass for over 3,000 yards in consecutive seasons.
Smith, a 2012 All-MW first-team honoree, finished last season with six interceptions, good for second-best in the MW and tied for fifth nationally. The Banning, Calif., native ranked second on the team with 79 tackles, and in addition, had two pass breakups and one forced fumble. Smith keyed a defensive effort that saw the Bulldogs earn national top-20 rankings in pass defense (second at 167.15 ypg), interceptions (third at 22), pass efficiency defense (fourth at 100.75) and opponent completion percentage (fifth at .514).
Hailing from Carson, Calif., Clayton finished the 2012 campaign as the No. 5 kick returner in the nation with an average of 30.4 yards per return. He returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, a pair of 98-yard efforts against Texas Tech on Sept. 15 and Southern on Sept. 1, to finish as one of 11 FBS specialists with multiple kick return TDs last season. The 2012 All-MW honorable mention honoree also gained 209 yards on 32 carries (6.5 average) as the team’s backup running back.
The 2013 Preseason All-Mountain West Football Team is listed below:
2013 Mountain West Football Preseason All-Conference Team
QB Derek Carr * Sr. Fresno State
WR Davante Adams * So. Fresno State
WR Noel Grigsby Sr. San Jose State
RB Kasey Carrier ** Sr. New Mexico
RB Adam Muema ** Jr. San Diego State
OL Charles Leno ** Sr. Boise State
OL Matt Paradis * Sr. Boise State
OL Weston Richburg Sr. Colorado State
OL Austin Wentworth * Sr. Fresno State
OL Tyler Larsen Sr. Utah State
TE Marcel Jensen Sr. Fresno State
DL Demarcus Lawrence * Jr. Boise State
DL Tyeler Davison * Jr. Fresno State
DL Brock Hekking ** Jr. Nevada
DL Travis Raciti Jr. San Jose State
LB Jake Fely ** Jr. San Diego State
LB Keith Smith Sr. San Jose State
LB Kyler Fackrell So. Utah State
DB L.J. Jones Sr. Fresno State
DB Derron Smith * Jr. Fresno State
DB Nat Berhe ** Sr. San Diego State
DB Bené Benwikere Sr. San Jose State
P Ben Skaer Sr. New Mexico
PK Austin Lopez So. San Jose State
Ret. Chase Clayton Jr. New Mexico
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Derek Carr, Sr., QB, Fresno State
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Derron Smith, Jr., DB, Fresno State
Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year: Chase Clayton, Jr., KR, New Mexico